Julia Gaffield, assistant professor of history, has won the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for her project titled, The Abandoned Faithful: Sovereignty, Diplomacy, and Religious Dominion in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution.
Gaffield’s project looks at domestic and international Catholicism’s role within Haiti’s pursuit of comprehensive state formation in the decades following the Declaration of Independence in 1804.
Catholic priests fled Haiti during the revolution, and the country was cut off from the Catholic Church for close to six decades. Haiti remained a majority Catholic country, however. This project started when Gaffield asked why it took so long for Haiti and the Vatican to come to an agreement and also why the government chose to remain Roman Catholic.
Gaffield’s larger research project focuses on the ways Haiti became a recognized nation after the revolution, but also faced exclusions from international systems of trade and diplomacy.
The ACLS is a private, nonprofit federation of 75 national scholarly organizations, and is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. The organization has been providing fellowships for nearly 100 years.